Out-of-Country Applicants

Students who have completed a degree outside of the United States and do not have teaching credentials will need to complete a transcript evaluation (Sorry, currently unavailable as we are going through transition for Fall 2017 pending final state approvals).


Students who have degree and hold teaching credentials from a country outside the United States can work directly with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to determine eligibility for certification in the state of Missouri. The process described below must be followed in order to determine eligibility for certification:


1) Send your official college transcripts and certifications to a United States credentialing agency approved by DESE. The analysis they provide must be translated into English and include the following items:

    • Specific course titles
    • Credit hours earned
    • Letter grades received
    • Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • Statement verifying the completed program’s equivalency to a United States degree

2) Once you have received your foreign credential evaluation from a DESE approved agency, you will need to apply for certification in Missouri. You will follow this process even if you were not certified in another country.

  • Start by going to: http://www.dese.mo.gov/. (Make sure to have pop-up blockers turned off to access the website.)
  • In the middle of the page click on “Educator Certification“.
  • On the right, click “Web Applications“.
  • Enter your DESE User Name and Password and click “Login“. If you have not established your DESE Profile you need to do that first.
  • Complete an Application for Non-Missouri Graduates. This application has several different uses, and does not specifically state that it is used for individuals from other countries.
  • Log into the DESE Online Certification System with your User Name and Password.
  • Under the category “Office of Educator Quality“, select “Educator Certification System“.
  • On the left side, click the arrow next to “New Applications” to expand the list.
  • Select “Non-MO Graduates“.
  • There will be a pop-up window with additional instructions. Make sure to print or save those instructions. They will be needed once you complete the application.
  • Make sure your profile information is correct. If not, you can edit and save it right on the application.
  • Answer all Professional Conduct questions. If you mark “yes” to any, you will be required to add a comment.
  • Choose the purpose of the application. You will select “Applying with an Out of State Institution Recommendation“. However, instead of submitting an institutional verification form, you will write a letter to DESE requesting that your foreign credential evaluation be reviewed for certification in Missouri.
  • Missouri Area of Certification Requested: Click “add” and then select the subject area and grade level that most closely matches the certification you hold in another country. Make sure to hit “Save” when finished with this section.
  • Praxis II or other State Required Tests: Applicants from other countries will not need to complete this section.
  • Teaching Experience: If you have teaching experience, click “Add” then “Edit” and complete the information for each teaching job you have had. You do not need to include non-teaching employment. Make sure to click “Save” once you are finished entering this information.
  • Release of Information: You must click the “I Accept” button.
  • Required Fees: Regardless of how many years you have taught in another country, do NOT check the box for those who have 4 or more years of teaching experience. If you select 4 or more years, the dollar amounts will change and you will be submitting the $85.00 fee. All out-of-country applicants should pay a $50.00 fee and if eligible would be issued an Initial Professional Certificate.
  • Click the “Submit to DESE” Button. You are not finished yet – Do not exit the system.
  • Out of State Verification Form: After hitting “Submit to DESE“, you will get a confirmation and then will see a “print” button on the bottom of the page. You do not need to print an out-of-state verification form since you are not certified in another state.

Mail a copy of your foreign credential evaluation, your letter requesting an evaluation for certification, and your fee payment, to this address:

DESE – Educator Certification
PO Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102

3) Complete the application process. Once you have submitted your application, please refer to the Application Checklist you printed out at the beginning of the application to complete the rest of the steps in the process. This will include an FBI Background Check.

DESE personnel will respond to your request, usually within 4-6 weeks but it could be longer during peak times of year. DESE personnel use email as a primary form of communication, so please be sure to include a current email address in your DESE online profile.